The vast majority of individuals who have been in a car accident can benefit from having a car accident attorney litigate their case. For those who have been in a serious car accident where they sustained injuries that required medical attention, it is imperative.
Each year, there are over 130,000 car accidents in the State of Georgia. Each of these requires insurance claims be filed. Insurance companies are among the most lucrative industries in the U.S., and not because they make a habit out of paying out the maximum value for every claim that’s filed with them. The Acworth, Georgia car accident lawyers at the Roger Ghai Law Offices help injured drivers file their claims and receive fair settlements that compensate them for all their injuries.
Understanding the Insurance Claims Process
When you file a claim with an allegedly at-fault driver’s insurance policy, you are making an argument that the driver who they insure was negligent and caused the accident. This is a legal argument. It requires that you show that the at-fault driver violated their duty of care. In these cases, it is assumed that any driver who takes to the road owes all other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists a duty of care to ensure their safety. If they violate the rules of traffic, drive recklessly, drive distractedly, or drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are in violation of that duty of care. When someone is injured because of that violation, they must compensate the injured party for damages.
However, insurance companies don’t make money by satisfying the maximum value of claims against their drivers. They make money by lowballing claimants, outright denying valid claims, or accusing you of being the one who was negligent. Those who want to get a fair settlement that compensates them for all their damages are in for a fight.
How Can Acworth, GA Car Accident Attorneys Help?
The Roger Ghai Law Offices will first begin by thoroughly investigating the accident. If you have pictures of the scene, we can use those to bolster your case. In some cases, there will be surveillance footage that caught the accident. If there’s no surveillance footage and you were too injured to worry about snapping photos yourself, we can hire accident reconstruction experts to formulate an idea of how the accident happened.
During your recovery, the other driver’s insurance company will likely attempt to make contact with you. You should not speak to them. They are not “just trying to help you get your money faster.” They’re trying to dredge up ways to reduce the overall value of your case. Our job as your car accident attorney is to maximize your settlement offer. This means showing a clear picture of how the other driver is responsible for the accident and using your own medical records to calculate damages.
Understanding Damages in a Car Accident Lawsuit
Damages refer to any injuries or losses you sustained as a result of the other driver’s negligence. They can be divided into two different types. These are economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages refer to any financial losses you sustained as a result of the other driver’s negligence. These include things like medical expenses, out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident, and lost wages.
Noneconomic damages are more difficult to calculate. They include pain and suffering, emotional trauma, loss of enjoyment, and more. Essentially, they are injuries that you suffered that cannot be easily quantified. For instance, let’s say that you suffered whiplash as a result of your accident. Your neck hurts for up to two months afterward. You can no longer enjoy playing tennis. You have difficulty sleeping at night. These are all damages that you deserve to be compensated for.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Generally speaking, car accidents occur when one or the other driver violates some traffic rule. This could mean they were speeding, went through a red light, rolled through a stop sign, didn’t check their blind spots before making a lane change, or were tailgating another vehicle.
Additionally, one of the most common reasons for car accidents is distracted driving. Today, some motorists think it’s okay to talk on their cell phones, send text messages, and fiddle with their entertainment systems instead of keeping their attention on the road. It isn’t. Each of these behaviors puts other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists at risk.
When Both Drivers are Partly at Fault
Georgia allows a driver to file a claim against another driver if the driver filing the claim is less than 50 percent responsible for the accident. During negotiations or a jury trial, a determination will be made as to what percentage of fault each driver should be assigned. If each driver is assigned 50 percent of the blame, then neither driver may recover damages. However, if one driver is assigned 25 percent of the blame, then that driver is entitled to recover 75 percent of their damages.
In other words, a driver’s total damages would be reduced by their share of the blame. A driver who is awarded $10,000 in damages and is 25 percent to blame for an accident would be entitled to recover $7,500.
When the At-Fault Driver Flees the Scene of the Accident
If a driver doesn’t have insurance or flees the scene of the accident, you are entitled to file a claim on your own uninsured driver’s insurance (provided that you elected to pay for it). In the event that your total damages exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limit, you can also file a claim on your underinsured driver’s insurance. In some cases, insurance companies can be prickly about paying out on these claims. In these cases, it helps to have an attorney litigate the claim for you.
Talk to an Acworth, GA Car Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, the stakes are high. You will only get one chance to negotiate a settlement for your damages. Once you sign off on an offer, that’s it. Don’t be pressured into taking a quick settlement. Let the attorneys at the Roger Ghai Law Offices help.